It’s the battle of the Titans people. Ladies and gentlemen, the battle lines have been drawn. Google has officially fired the first round in the battle for the tablet computer space. With the release of the Nexus 7 tablet last week, Google has decided to take matters in their own hand. The Nexus 7 is not the first Android powered tablet, nor will it be the last. However, it is a very significant push for the Android platform.
For a while, Google has been distancing themselves from going into hardware and focusing on software for tablets. However, as we all know, Android tablets have been and are still struggling for market share in the Ipad – dominated market.
The Nexus 7 joins an army of siblings from Samsung, Asus, Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo and Amazon. Though Android has a huge backing from some of the top names in the IT industry, Android tablets have been trailing Apple’s Ipad.
Apple was first to market with their Ipad and have maintained a huge lead (in the region of 70% of the entire tablet market).
Google announced some 600,000 apps in the Google Play Store with 1.5 billion downloads every month and 20 billion since Android began. Free apps are available in 190 countries, with paid apps in 132. The app and download counts add up fairly well to Apple’s own claims of 650,000 apps and 30 billion total downloads.
Google claims there are 400 million activated Android devices worldwide, and one million activations per day. That is a sharp rise from the 100 million activated devices it announced at Google I/O last year.
With such unprecedented figures, may wonder why Android tablets are not gaining popularity fast enough. Android’s biggest issue has been fragmentation. What fragmentation means is that all manufacturers are free to customize their tablets any way they please. Besides, Android tablets come in all sizes imaginable from 5 inch all the way to 13 inches.
This does not do Google a favor having some many products. It poses a challenge to consumers making a decision on which Android tablet to buy, and which manufacturer to buy from. Also dealing with many versions of Adroid on different tablets can be a daunting task for users.
Apple on the other hand has been consistent with their Ipad, maintaining one size with different capacities. It is no wonder therefore that the Ipad is the best selling tablet with a market share of about 70%. Beisded Apple’s IOS which powers the Ipad is perhaps the simplest and easiest tablet software on the market.
fitKindle Fire which retails for $199 (about Fr 119,151) has been flying off Amazon’s online shelves since its launch at the end of 2011.
The Kindle is perhaps the Ipad’s biggest competitor in terms of sales figures. By December 2011, the Kindle was selling a million units weekly. It is estimated that the Kindle Fire sold about 4.7 million units during the fourth quarter of 2011.
Google’s decision to join the tablet market perhaps has to do with the success of the Kindle Fire. Their strategy of selling media content through their Android Play store is almost identical to Amazon’s digital content service (music, videos, books) though Amazon is way ahead of Google in terms of content offering.
You must be wondering where Microsoft fits in the tablet equation. Microsoft’s recent entry into the tablet business should have Google worried. For starters, Microsoft Windows powers over 80% of all desktop and notebook computers worldwide.
Imagine how much damage a Windows powered tablet can do to the competitors. If Microsoft can replicate the desktop success on the tablet computer, I can only imagine a new Microsoft world domination.
Microsoft’s tablet is the only tablet with a full operating system, meaning that your desktop software will work seamlessly on the tablet. This is a big deal since most computer users are familiar with Windows programs.
A tablet which can run all your old Windows programs has the potential to replace your desktop computer. Did I mention the tablets will come pre-loaded with a full version of Microsoft Office? A Windows tablet can be your only computer.
Only time will tell who will win the tablet battle. Brace yourselves for War!